New Jersey's unemployment rate is at 9.6 percent, but the experts say finding a job in 2013 should be easier than it was last year.

Job Fair (Roberto Gonzalez, Getty Images)

The outlook is positive because the economy seems to be rebounding, according to Carl Van Horn, the Director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

"There's a lot of positive signs in a number of different industries…and also given the fact that there will be, we now believe, some additional money to help pay for the hurricane Sandy repairs to our infrastructure and to homes and so on," Van Horn says.

He says, "That will bring construction jobs into the state, it's an unhappy reason for that, but the reality is it will help. In other disasters in other states we've seen that the post- disaster economy tends to be stimulated positively by the infusion of federal dollars."

Nevertheless, Van Horn points out, "The dark cloud on the horizon of course is what happens with Congress- whether they engage in more fiscal problems…If the debt ceiling isn't raised, it would be very harmful not only to the national economy, but also to New Jersey specifically…But I'm generally optimistic that if those problems get resolved…There will some more job opportunities in 2013."

If you are looking for work, Van Horn suggests you keep a couple of things in mind.

Number one is to activate whatever networks you have and relentlessly pursue the people and the friends that you have, and the friends of the friends, he suggests.

"It doesn't matter whether there's internet or no internet, that's still how people get jobs, is through personal contact- references, finding out what's going on…and the other piece of advice is use every technique available, whether that's the internet or social media or calling former employers or volunteering in an organization to perhaps pick up leads - all of that is part of the process, and you don't know which of those is going to pay off so what you want to do is maximize your opportunities…" Van Horn says. "You want to get your foot in the door, so that your resume doesn't just wind up in a pile."